The Evolutionary Origins of Eukaryotic Protein Disulfide Isomerase Domains: New Evidence from the Amitochondriate Protist Giardia lamblia Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • A phylogenetic analysis of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) domain evolution was performed with the inclusion of recently reported PDIs from the amitochondriate protist Giardia lamblia, yeast PDIs that contain a single thioredoxin-like domain, and PDIs from a diverse selection of protists. We additionally report and include two new giardial PDIs, each with a single thioredoxin-like domain. Inclusion of protist PDIs in our analyses revealed that the evolutionary history of the endoplasmic reticulum may not be simple. Phylogenetic analyses support common ancestry of all eukaryotic PDIs from a thioredoxin ancestor and independent duplications of thioredoxin-like domains within PDIs throughout eukaryote evolution. This was particularly evident for Acanthamoeba PDI, Dictyostelium PDI, and mammalian erp5 domains. In contrast, gene duplication, instead of domain duplication, produces PDI diversity in G. lamblia. Based on our results and the known diversity of PDIs, we present a new hypothesis that the five single-domain PDIs of G. lamblia may reflect an ancestral mechanism of protein folding in the eukaryotic endoplasmic reticulum. The PDI complement of G. lamblia and yeast suggests that a combination of PDIs may be used as a redox chain analogous to that known for bacterial Dsb proteins.


  • McArthur, Andrew
  • Knodler, Leigh A
  • Silberman, Jeffrey D
  • Davids, Barbara J
  • Gillin, Frances D
  • Sogin, Mitchell L

publication date

  • August 1, 2001